The Month in WordPress – January 2024

January kicked off with big plans for the WordPress project in the year ahead. Work on the WordPress 6.5 release is underway, with Beta 1 scheduled for next week and early testing opportunities. Let’s catch up on all the exciting updates from the past month.

Looking at 2024

In a recent episode of WP Briefing, WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy discusses some of the big-picture goals for WordPress this year. The main highlights include Phase 3 of the WordPress roadmap, which involves collaborative editing and significant updates to writing and design workflows. Another major focus is Data Liberation, a new initiative introduced at State of the Word 2023 with the ultimate goal of creating a more open web.

Learn more about Data Liberation in 2024.

WordPress 6.5 is on its way

Preparations for WordPress 6.5, the first major release of 2024, are in full swing. The release squad was announced last month, and the next milestone will be Beta 1, scheduled for February 13.

Curious about what version 6.5 will bring? Check out this Hallway Hangout recap to learn about some upcoming features. You can also participate in this early testing opportunity to experience them first-hand and provide feedback.

Until 6.5 is released, you can upgrade to WordPress 6.4.3. This version includes numerous security and maintenance updates.

New in the Gutenberg plugin

Three new versions of Gutenberg shipped in January:

Gutenberg 17.4 featured improvements to List View and Style Revisions, more flexibility for background images in Group blocks, and significant advancements to the Data Views experience for the Templates page.

Gutenberg 17.5 made good progress in combining the Post Editor and Site Editor by introducing a shared preference panel, among other highlights.

Gutenberg 17.6 included the ability to extend allowed blocks within a parent block, along with several improvements to Block Hooks, the Data Views experience, and the Site and Post Editor unification.

WordPress 6.5 is slated to include some impactful changes and new features to current revision functionality in the Site Editor. Read more »

Team updates

The second cohort of the WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program is open for applications. This program aims to connect experienced WordPress contributors with newcomers or those looking to enhance their skills within the community. Both mentees and mentors can apply by February 7, 2024.

If you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and participate in the Mentorship Program, you may be interested in this LGBTQ+Press Empowerment Grant.

The Global Community Sponsors for 2024 have been announced.

The Community team reflected on the “NextGen Events” pilot project and recommended adopting an expanded scope for WordPress events, encouraging a broad range of innovative event formats.

In 2023, the WordPress Core team shipped 2211 commits, and 472 people made their first contribution to WordPress Core. Explore more stats in this report.

The Performance team released a roadmap with this year’s focus areas.

Are you looking to broaden your knowledge and improve your WordPress skills? Check out what’s new on Learn WordPress.

Catch up on all the news in the WordPress development space with the latest edition of What’s new for developers?

Requests for feedback and testing

Community team members proposed a pilot program to test GatherPress, a community-developed plugin, as a event management tool.

New Five for the Future program enhancements were suggested based on insights gathered during the WordPress Community Summit. You can help improve the program by sharing your feedback before February 7.

A new proposal recommends the next steps for the Full Site Editing (FSE) Outreach Program. Input is welcome by February 12.

Members of the Community team are requesting feedback and ideas to help shape the future of the new WordPress Events page.

WordPress events

WordCamp Asia 2024 is just around the corner! Organizers announced a tentative schedule and a Diversity Scholarship to fund the attendance of two active project contributors to their first flagship WordCamp.

Tickets for WordCamp Europe 2024 are on sale. The organizing team is looking for volunteers to help make the event in Torino, Italy, memorable.

WordCamp US 2024 shared details of the event to be held September 17-20 in Portland, Oregon. This WordCamp will have a strong focus on community collaboration with two Contributor Days.

Check out these other WordPress events happening soon:

WordPress Photo Festival (online) on February 3-10

WordCamp Phoenix, USA, on February 9-10

WordCamp Pune, India, on February 17

WordCamp Kansai, Japan, on February 23-24

Have a story we should include in the next issue of The Month in WordPress? Fill out this quick form to let us know.

Thanks to Satyam Vishwakarma (Satya), Jenni McKinnon, and Lauren Stein for contributing to this edition of The Month in WordPress.

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